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EDITORIAL: On being the best woman can be

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: On being the best woman can be

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ONLY?ON TUESDAY we were celebrating International Women’s Day, stressing the great strides women have made everywhere, particularly in Barbados.
This little country of ours can raise its head high in respect of the reasonably rapid progress of its women – assuredly in the last two and a half decades. Of course, more can be done and, we suspect, will be done.
For example, as Minister of Labour Esther Byer-Suckoo alluded to, there seems to be a growing appetite among women for enhanced participation in elective politics and a yearning for acceptance among their very own in this regard.
It is an enigma, though. There are more women voters than men, yet most women offering themselves for election in the past have struggled at the polls, as if at a disadvantage vis-a-vis their male counterparts.
Their failure, however, may have more to do with popular choice than their being women. Even so, the persistence with women’s participation, and the optimism that accompanies it, could only bring that inevitable change.
Not very long ago, we were not able to boast of women judges. Now, we revel in the number, quality and standing of them. As we have already said, the road ahead is pregnant with opportunities.
And that is why we were saddened to have to carry on International Women’s Day the report from the Caribbean Policy Development Centre’s Cecilia Babb that an increasing number of women were being pushed into deviancy.
Ms Babb lamented that despite developmental gains, there was “a proliferation . . . of those who are engaged in what we call deviant activities – what we recognize as socially not beneficial”.
While we acknowledge that Ms Babb speaks from a Caribbean perspective, we can’t help but focus on our Barbadian women, who through “growing unemployment, issues of food sovereignty and nutrition insecurity” may have fallen victim to life’s vagaries.
Whatever our women’s placing may be in this wretched Caribbean scheme of things, we must pay attention. We need our women as stabilizing influences on our men in the family, and as natural mentors in the wholesome upbringing of our children.
 The participation of women in all spheres of our social living is therefore critical.
Woman has a more indeterminate role than she might imagine: a mould of mother, wife, caregiver, mentor, inspirationalist, family stabilizer, politician, professional . . . .
It remains mostly in women’s hands to forge ahead and be the best they can be.